Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies, announced today that she will nominate the Very Rev. H. Scott Kirby, retired dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to serve as vice president of the House of Deputies for the duration of the 2012 General Convention, which meets next July in Indianapolis.
The vice presidency has been vacant since February 2010, when the previous incumbent, the Rev. Brian Prior, was ordained Bishop of Minnesota.
There are no canonical provisions for choosing an interim vice president when the office becomes vacant between conventions, Anderson said. In nominating Kirby to serve at the 2012 General Convention, but not beyond, she is following the precedent established by Pamela Chinnis, who filled a vice presidential vacancy during her terms as president of the House of Deputies (1991-2000.)
Both she and Chinnis sought to fill a significant vacancy in the leadership of the house, without conferring political advantage on the nominee, Anderson said. This was best done by nominating “a seasoned and well-respected deputy” who agreed not to run for other convention offices in the future, she added.
The House of Deputies must approve Kirby’s nomination when it convenes in Indianapolis.
“At the time of nominations for vice president to serve the House while we are in Indianapolis, deputies are free to nominate others if they wish, as the decision belongs to the House of Deputies and not to the President,” Anderson wrote, in a letter released today to deputies and first alternates. “Certainly, it is my hope that my nomination might enable us to move quickly to the business of the convention and ensure a fair and open process for electing officers for 2015.”
Kirby’s successor will be elected at the convention, and begin a three-year term when the convention is adjourned.
Kirby, chair of the Eau Claire deputation, was first elected to General Convention in 1985, and has chaired the Joint Standing Commissions on Liturgy and Music, on Mission, and on the State of the Church. He was a member of the President of the House of Deputies’ Council of Advice under Chinnis and the Rev. George Werner, and has served on the Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Arrangements and the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop.
A graduate of the General Seminary in New York City, Kirby has served parishes in the Dioceses of Western New York, New Jersey, Western Kansas and Eau Claire.
A former member of the Board of Directors of Episcopal Relief and Development, Kirby has also served on the Title IV Disciplinary Committee. He is a police chaplain for the City of Eau Claire, a chaplain for the Seamen’s Church Institute and a captain in the Civil Air Patrol.